If I have one piece of advice for my sister who is in college right now, it is “Don’t Sell Your Books!” I regret selling off my books. I regret that in a general way; I wish I still had every book I once had, if only to have a library that resembles the libraries of well-educated people I know and admire. But sometimes, I will find myself in a situation where I need a specific particular book that I once had. It is a terrible feeling. I’ve felt that with at least a dozen books now. I clearly remember staring at my big expensive general entomology textbook and saying to myself, this is one book I will never, never need again. It took 11 years, but sure enough I did need it again. The feeling is worse when it hits me here in Malaysia because so many books are out of reach or expensive enough in Ringgit to be prohibitive.
If I live long enough I think I will have cause to regret each individual book I have owned and lost. The most recent book I’m missing is my old Elementary Modern Standard Arabic Textbook. It was a great big heavy orange book from a class that I was hostile towards to begin with, so somewhere amongst my dozen changes of address and/or times of financial need I sold it. Now that I’m finally studying Arabic again, I miss it sorely. So I was thrilled to come across a pdf of an ancient (1890’s?) Arabic Grammar textbook in English available online. I strongly suspect that it is way over my head, but I’ll take what I can get. Thank you very much to Ghazali.org for making it available. I found it by way of Seeker’s Digest, by way of . Ghazali.org has a huge number of other texts available as does its sister site, Muslim Philosophy.